Lasso escaped impeachment by dissolving Parliament and advancing the elections

Lasso escaped impeachment by dissolving Parliament and advancing the elections

Quito – The President of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, yesterday decreed the dissolution of the National Assembly hours after the National Assembly -parliament- initiated a political trial against him for alleged corruption, a legal but controversial decision that implies the holding of new elections generals in a few months and, until then, empowers him to govern by decree.

The move by the unpopular right-wing president, who was being prosecuted by the unicameral parliament for alleged corruption, was rejected by former left-wing president and opposition leader Rafael Correa, who accused Lasso of a “coup d’état,” and by the powerful Ecuadorian indigenous movement. , who said that he will study what response he gives to the decision.

The heads of the Armed Forces and the Police quickly endorsed the legality of Lasso’s move in a video in which they warned that they will act firmly in the face of any protests, while riot police took control of the National Assembly building and legislators could only withdraw your belongings through a third party. This is the first time that this constitutional tool has been used.

The Armed Forces and the National Police “maintain and will maintain their position of absolute respect for the Constitution and the laws unalterable,” said the head of the Joint Command of the Ecuadorian Armed Forces, Nelson Proaño.

In the statement, he added that Lasso’s decision to dissolve the Assembly is enshrined in the Constitution (see separate note).


In a message to the Nation, the conservative Lasso said that, by virtue of a constitutional attribution popularly known as “cross death”, he signed a decree that dissolves the National Assembly and gives it powers to govern by decree until the next elections, which, By law, they should be held between September and October.

Lasso accused the parliament of wanting, with its impeachment, to “destabilize the Government, democracy and the State” and said that it made the decision “due to a serious political crisis and internal commotion”, one of the grounds contemplated by the Constitution.

In the midst of the rise in violence linked to drug trafficking and discontent over the increase in the cost of living, the decision may mean the end of the right-wing government and give the correista left, which dominates Congress, a chance.

The Constitution establishes that within a maximum period of seven days, after the publication of the dissolution decree, legislative and presidential elections will be called to complete the current four-year term, which began in 2021 and ends in 2025.


Correa, whose movement was the main force in the dismissed Assembly, with 49 of the 137 seats, called Lasso’s decision “illegal” and a “coup d’état”, but qualified that his decision opened a “great opportunity” to get rid of of his Government and “recover the Homeland”.

The powerful Conaie indigenous confederation, whose protests have led to the overthrow of three presidents since 1997 and embarrassed Lasso himself last year, said the decision painted “a scenario of dictatorship” and vowed to analyze and adopt “collective decisions.”

In his message to the nation, the president said that all the efforts of the Legislative Branch were focused on destabilizing the Government “with an unfounded political trial,” adding that the Assembly sought to “usurp all the powers of the State.”

The ruler appeared before the National Assembly yesterday to defend himself against the accusations of alleged embezzlement, at the beginning of a political trial against him, the second since he came to power, in May 2021.

According to reports, Lasso decided to continue with a contract that was signed before he took office, despite reports that it was detrimental to the state.

The contract for the transportation of crude oil with the international group Amazonas Tanker would have caused losses of more than 6 million dollars.

The president has not been prosecuted for any crime in ordinary justice and assured that he filed a complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office in 2022 to investigate the case.

This is the first time that a president applies the so-called “cross death”, which can be exercised only once during the first three years of the mandate.

Between 1997 and 2005 three rulers who emerged from the polls were overthrown in the midst of popular revolts: Abdalá Bucaram, Jamil Mahuad and Lucio Gutiérrez.

In June 2022, Parliament had tried to remove Lasso amid violent indigenous protests against the high cost of living, but fell short of 12 votes to remove him from power.

On this occasion, the opposition seemed to muster the necessary 92 votes in the chamber, which has 137 seats.

The debate over the impeachment trial against Lasso was due to continue today before a call for a vote on impeachment, but Lasso anticipated it and decreed a “cross death.”

Source: Ambito

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